A Theory of Predicates

Farrell Ackerman and Gert Webelhuth

A Theory of Predicates
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Farrell Ackerman and Gert Webelhuth

Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

500 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9781575860862 Published June 1997
Cloth $69.95 ISBN: 9781575860879 Published June 1997
When studying linguistics, it is commonplace to find that information packaged into a single word in one language is expressed by several independent words in another language. This observation raises an important question: how can linguistics research represent what is the same among languages while accounting for the obvious differences between them?

In this work, two linguists-Farrell Ackerman and Gert Webelhuth-from different theoretical paradigms develop a new general theory of natural language predicates. This theory is capable of addressing a broad range of issues concerning (complex) predicates, many of which remain unresolved in previous theoretical proposals. The book focuses on cross-linguistically recurring patterns of predicate formation. It also provides a detailed implementation of Ackerman and Webelhuth's theory for German tense-aspect, passive, causative, and verb-particle predicates. In addition, a discussion of the extension of these representative analyses to the same predicate construction in other languages is presented. Beyond providing a formalism for the analysis of language-particular predicates, the authors demonstrate how the basic theoretical mechanism they develop can be employed to explain universal tendencies of predicate formation.
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